I had the privilege of coordinating our first Encounter for teenage girls, with 700 attendees at the beginning of this year. Every moment was a wonderful experience, beginning with the training we gave to each of the guides who were taking the girls to the Encounter, up until when we saw all that God had done in those girls’ lives. Four of the guides were given the opportunity to share some of the Encounter talks – it was really precious to see how people who don’t normally speak on stage really studied and sought God so that they could bring the Word. I know that when they stood up to speak, it opened a door toward the dream that God wants to fulfill in their lives.
We spoke about the importance of having an encounter with Jesus and we prayed that each of the girls would receive a revelation of the cross and the love that Jesus poured out for them at Calvary. There was then a time of repentance which brought freedom. We also set aside a time for God to minister to their emotions and we taught principles that will help them raise a family correctly, because many of them come from homes that either don’t have a dad or a mom. We made a special point of explaining how they can guard their hearts until they find that perfect person with whom they can raise a family for Jesus.
My greatest hope as we began the Encounter was that the glory of God would visit us. I personally believe that change takes place where the presence of the Lord is. God surprised us because on the first day, we realized that it was all the new girls who were raising their hands and getting stuck into worship. But God surprised us further when we saw that on the last day, all the girls had completely surrendered their lives to Jesus. We laid hands on them, and they spoke in tongues and they left that place filled with the Holy Spirit.
I think that because of their circumstances, many people have never set aside a time to get away and think about their lives with God. An Encounter is the time to set aside
everything we have lived through so that we can completely surrender ourselves to God. We prepare with 40 days of prayer and fasting to create an atmosphere where the glory of God is manifested and every person’s heart can be healed of traumas, their mind can be set free from harmful ways of thinking and they can receive the blessings that come from God. An Encounter is the first step toward a real change in our lives.